“I hate this for Will," Williams said. "He worked extremely hard this summer to get himself physically in the best shape he’s been in years, but he did not do everything he needed to do to be a part of our basketball program."
Graves, who started 33 games in 2009-10, was UNC's third-leading scorer (9.8 points) -- and top returning scorer for 2010-11 -- and top three-point shooter (37.1%). In what ends up being his final game in a UNC uniform, Graves made seven three-pointers and scored a career-high 25 points in the 2010 NIT championship game against Dayton.
"This is a huge blow to our team, but an even bigger blow for Will," Williams said. "Playing for the Tar Heels meant so much to him.”
Graves, a Greensboro, N.C. native, red-shirted in 2006-07, and played a reserve role the following two seasons. He was suspended for the latter half of UNC's 2008-09 national championship for violating team rules.
“Coach used to say I had one foot in the hole and the other one was on the banana peel,” Graves told Inside Carolina this summer. “I am just trying to stand on my two feet and show Coach I appreciate everything he’s done and everything the University’s done.”
Graves added in that interview, for Inside Carolina's Basketball Preview Issue, “I am ready to play whatever role is necessary for us to get a ‘W’ at the end of the night. This is my last year. If not now, when?”
* Williams noted that the dismissal has no connection to the ongoing NCAA investigation into the football program. “This is 100 percent not related to any NCAA matters on campus,” Williams said.